What About Whoopi Goldberg’s Claim that Adolf Hitler Was a Christian?
Not only is Whoppi Goldberg the resident Bible scholar on “The View,” but it seems she’s also the resident historian. She declared on “The View” that “Hitler was a Christian.” He was a Christian in the same way that Judas was a follower of Jesus. The apostle John describes people like Hitler who had a Christian identity but rejected Jesus and His moral worldview: “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us” (1 John 2:19).
Karl Marx was Jewish by birth, but because of his father’s “conversion” to Lutheranism, he could said to be a Christian. Eventually, however, he became an atheist and is known as the father of modern-day Communism. According to the authors of The Black Book of Communism, Communism has resulted in the deaths of 100 million people worldwide.
While it’s true that Adolf Hitler was raised Roman Catholic by his devout mother, “in adulthood Hitler became disdainful of Christianity, but in the pursuit and maintenance of power was prepared to delay clashes with the churches out of political considerations.”
As we’ll see, those clashes were significant.
A tree is known by its fruit. What was the fruit of Hitler’s relationship with Christianity during his reign of terror?
A group of Confessional Churches in Germany, founded by Pastor Martin Niemoeller and other Protestant ministers, drew up a proclamation to confront the political changes that were taking place in Germany that threatened the people “with a deadly danger. The danger lies in a new religion,” the proclamation declared. “The church has by order of its Master to see to it that in our people Christ is given the honor that is proper to the Judge of the world . . . The First Commandment says ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’ The new religion is a rejection of the First Commandment.”1 Five hundred German pastors who read the proclamation from their pulpits were arrested.
The new religion was the cult of Adolf Hitler.
The older religious worldview of Christianity was replaced with a new religious worldview called Nazism (National Socialism). “[I]n Germany there was Nazi truth, a Nazi political truth, a Nazi economic truth, a Nazi social truth, a Nazi religious truth, to which all institutions had to subscribe or be banished.”2
William L. Shirer paints a depressing picture of the state of the church in 1938. “Not many Germans lost much sleep over the arrests of a few thousand pastors and priests. . . .”3 Martin Borman said publicly in 1941, “National Socialism and Christianity are irreconcilable.”4
Under the leadership of Alfred Rosenberg, “considered one of the main authors of key National Socialist ideological creeds,” “the Nazi regime intended eventually to destroy Christianity in Germany.”5 A new German religion was created that was “devoid of ‘Jewish’ or ‘Roman’ features, and [based on] a new paganism . . . emphasizing Wotan or nature-sun worship.”6 Nazism “was itself based on anti-Christian ideas.”7 The internal intelligence agency of the Nazi SS Aregarded organized Christianity as one of the major obstacles to the establishment of a truly totalitarian state.@8 Every vestige of Christianity had to go.
“During World War II Rosenberg outlined the future envisioned by the Hitler government for religion in Germany, with a thirty-point program for the future of the German churches. Among its articles:
- The National Reich Church of Germany would claim exclusive control over all churches
- Publication of the Bible would cease
- Crucifixes, Bibles and saints were to be removed from altars
- Mein Kampfwould be placed on altars as “to the German nation and therefore to God the most sacred book”
- The Christian Cross would be removed from all churches and replaced with the swastika.9
Read related article: “Whoopi Goldberg is the Resident Bible Scholar on ‘The View.’”
“As part of the internal subversion of Christianity, Nazi zealots encouraged the de-Christianizing of rituals related to birth, marriage, and death. Other efforts to undermine the psychic bonds that had been built up between Christianity and the German people involved, as they did during the French Revolution, an attack on the Christian calendar and on Christmas holidays. In 1938 carols and nativity plays were forbidden in the schools and the word ‘Christmas’ itself was replaced by the word “Yuletide.”10
George L. Mosse, author of Nazi Culture, quotes from Martin Bormann’s “National Socialist and Christian Concepts Incompatible” speech where Bormann states, “We can do without Christianity.” For Bormann, it was science versus religion. He went on to say:
“The Christian Churches build upon the ignorance of men and strive to keep large portions of the people in ignorance because only in this way can the Christian Churches maintain their power. On the other hand, National Socialism [Nazism] is based on scientific foundations. Christianity’s immutable principles, which were laid down almost two thousand years ago, have increasingly stiffened into life-alien dogmas. National Socialism [Nazism], however, if it wants to fulfill its task further, must always guide itself according to the newest data of scientific searches.”11
This is why Shirer, an eyewitness to these events, could write in The Nightmare Years, “We know now what Hitler envisioned for the German Christians: the utter suppression of their religion.”12 We also know the results — the death of millions.
Recent discoveries of a confidential U.S. government report that was prepared for the International Military Tribunal at Nuremburg documents how the Nazis wanted to “take over the churches from within, using party sympathizers. Discredit, jail or kill Christian leaders. And re-indoctrinate the congregants. Give them a new faith — in German’s Third Reich.” The ultimate goal was to “eliminate Christianity.”
A 120-page report titled ‘The Nazi Master Plan: The Persecution of the Christian Churches’ — was prepared by the Office of Strategic Services, a forerunner of the CIA. The OSS document reported the following in 1945:
“Important leaders of the National Socialist party would have liked to meet this situation [church influence] by complete extirpation of Christianity and the substitution of a purely racial religion. . . . The best evidence now available as to the existence of an anti-Church plan is to be found in the systematic nature of the persecution itself. . . . Different steps in that persecution, such as the campaign for the suppression of denominational and youth organizations, the campaign against denominational schools, the defamation campaign against the clergy, started on the same day in the whole area of the Reich. . . and were supported by the entire regimented press, by Nazi Party meetings, by traveling party speakers.”13
Adolf Hitler and the men with whom he surrounded himself, were not Christians. Their “positive Christianity” was based on the “claim that Jesus was a member of an Indo-European, Nordic enclave resident in ancient Galilee who struggled against Judaism. It was a concocted religion based on mythology not having anything to do with the Jesus of the Bible.
- Quoted in Eugene Davidson, The Trials of the Germans: An Account of the Twenty-two Defendants before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press,  1997), 275. [↩]
- C. Gregg Singer, From Rationalism to Irrationality: The Decline of the Western Mind from the Renaissance to the Present (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1979), 28. [↩]
- William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1960), 240. [↩]
- Quoted in Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, 240. [↩]
- Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, 240. [↩]
- Klaus P. Fischer, Nazi Germany: A New History (New York: Continuum, 1995), 358. [↩]
- Fischer, Nazi Germany, 358. [↩]
- Donald D. Wall, AThe Lutheran Response to the Hitler Regime in Germany,@ ed., Robert D. Linder, God and Caesar: Case Studies in the Relationship Between Christianity and the State (Longview, TX: The Conference on Faith and History, 1971), 88. [↩]
- Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, 240. [↩]
- Fischer, Nazi Germany, 360. [↩]
- Martin Bormann, “National Socialist and Christian Concepts Incompatible” in George L. Moss, Nazi Culture (New York Grosset & Dunlap, 1968), 244. [↩]
- William L. Shirer, The Nightmare Years: 1930-1940 (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1984), 156. [↩]
- Quoted in Edward Colimore, “Papers reveal Nazi aim: End Christianity,” Philadelphia Inquirer (January 9, 2002). [↩]